Combate Americas and Caesars Entertainment announced a partnership to produce the global Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) sports franchise’s first-ever world championship doubleheader event at Harveys in Lake Tahoe, Nev., on Friday, Aug. 23, live on television in the U.S. in Spanish, on both Univision (12 a.m. ET/PT) and UDN (12 a.m. ET/9 p.m. PT), and live in the U.S. and Canada in English on DAZN (9:30 p.m. ET/6:30 p.m. PT).
The historic event, which Combate Americas will promote in conjunction with Tuff-N-Uff, will be held at the Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena at Harveys.
In the main event and a much-anticipated rematch between two Las Vegas-based rivals, reigning Combate Americas World Bantamweight (135 pounds) Champion Gustavo Lopez (10-4-1) will defend his coveted title for the first time against ever-determined, rising star Joey “El Cazador” Ruquet (7-1).
In the co-main event and first-ever Combate Americas world featherweight (145 pounds) championship bout, 2018 “COPA COMBATE” one-night, eight-man tournament champion Andres “The Bullet” Quintana (18-2) will collide with Bruno “Aquiles” Cannetti (8-6).
Priced from $37, tickets for the Combate Americas event being promoted in conjunction with Tuff-N-Uff, are on sale at Ticketmaster.com.
“With an unprecedented two Combate Americas world titles on the line in the same night, this is sure to be an epic night of Mucha Más Acción, and we are grateful to our partners with Caesars Entertainment and Harveys for giving us the opportunity to bring this incredible lineup to Lake Tahoe,” said Combate Americas CEO Campbell McLaren.
“We are pleased and excited to present these championship bouts in partnership with Combate Americas,” said Brad Belhouse, Regional President for Caesars Entertainment in Northern Nevada and Laughlin. “Mixed Martial Arts increases in popularity every year and to host an internationally televised world championship doubleheader is a real winner for Lake Tahoe and MMA fight fans.”
Gustavo Lopez vs. Joey Ruquet
The title bout will serve as a rematch to the two Las Vegas-based rivals’ initial matchup that also took place under the promotion of Combate Americas, on December 16, 2016, and that Lopez emerged victorious in, via second round (4:06) submission (arm triangle choke).
Born and raised in Wapato, Wash., Lopez re-located to the fight capital of the world to join MMA legend Randy “The Natural” Couture’s Xtreme Couture camp in Las Vegas, a journey that culminated with his victory of the Combate Americas world championship on March 29 when he stopped Jose “Pochito” Alday via first round (2:19) TKO (punch and ground and pound).
Ruquet, a native of Sarasota, Fla., is a seven-time veteran of Combate Americas action who earned his shot at the world title with his latest victory, a unanimous decision over Alan “Beche” Cantu in Cantu’s hometown of Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico on April 12.
Andres Quintana vs. Bruno Cannetti
The 27-year-old Quintana of Roswell, N.M. and the 30-year-old Cannetti of Buenos Aires, Argentina, originally slated to face off on June 28, will re-visit their “COPA COMBATE” semifinal stage tournament matchup that Quintana emerged the victor of by way of first round (2:05) TKO (punches) en route to earning the coveted championship and accompanying, $100,000 grand prize last December 7.
The win over Buenos Aires, Argentina’s 29-year-old Cannetti, came in remarkable fashion after Cannetti floored Quintana with a right hand in the first minute of the fight.
Since making his promotional debut with Combate Americas in 2017, Quintana has yet to be defeated. He will look to extend his win streak to nine consecutive bouts in the championship rematch with Cannetti.
Prior to the tournament, Cannetti, the younger brother of MMA superstar Guido “Ninja” Cannetti, was riding a three-fight win streak.
Additional bouts for the event will be announced soon.